Houston Public Media

Houston Music Highlight – Imágenes de Cuba

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L-R: Adel González (percussion), Whitney Bullock (viola), Matthew Dudzik (cello), Arthur Gottschalk (composer), Anabel Ramirez (violin) and Matthew Detrick (violin)Apollo Chamber Players visited Havana, Cuba to perform and record in January 2017.The Cuban percussion virtuoso performed with Apollo Chamber Players on Gottschalk's "Imágenes de Cuba.""Working a passage of Imágenes de Cuba with the amazing Cuban percussionist Adel González Gomez in Havana, Cuba."Apollo Chamber Players' new album is "Ancestral Voices," released by Navona Records in November 2017.The award-winning composer is Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. His piece, "Imágenes de Cuba," was the 7th commission of Apollo's 20X2020 Project.Calle Obispo (Bishop Street) is one of the most famous streets in Havana, Cuba."The painting behind us captures 19th-century Cuban intellectuals."

HPM’s “Houston Music Highlight” Series features performances with local connections – whether spotlighting music by Houston composers, commercial recordings by Houston musicians, or performances by local or visiting artists recorded at Houston Public Media.

In January 2017, Houston string quartet, Apollo Chamber Players, became the first American chamber music ensemble to perform and record in Cuba. Coordinated by Parma Recordings and the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, Apollo’s eight-day trip allowed them the opportunity to present a public concert and outreach programs, appear on Cuba TV, collaborate with acclaimed Cuban musicians, and record at Abdala Studios in Havana.

“It was an honor to take part in this cross-cultural collaboration, and we are pleased to include our Havana studio recording of Imágenes de Cuba on [our new album] Ancestral Voices,” said violinist, Artistic Director, and Co-Founder Matthew Detrick.

Ancestral Voices is Apollo’s third CD, released on November 10th, which features Imágenes de Cuba (Images of Cuba) – a work they commissioned as part of their 20X2020 Project from Houston composer Arthur Gottschalk, who was inspired by his frequent visits to Cuba over the past ten years.

Here is Apollo’s recording of the third movement (Timba), an exploration of salsa and pachanga dances, featuring Cuban percussion virtuoso Adel González.

Apollo Chamber Players’ new CD is Ancestral Voices, with music by Gilad Cohen, Arthur Gottschalk, Malek Jandali, and Javier Farias. The four works are 20X2020 commissions, collectively inspired by Jewish, Andean, Cuban, and Syrian folk music. Apollo is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary season.